Statue of Saint Prejectus (Pry) at Saint-Prix, Val-d'Oise.
|Died||January 25, 676
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Major shrine||In 760, relics enshrined at Flavigny Abbey, where most relics remain; other relics elsewhere.|
Saint Praejectus, Prejectus or Projectus (French: Saint Pry, Prie, Prix, Priest, Prest, Preils; Italian: Preietto (Proietto)) (625–676) was a bishop of Clermont, who was killed together with Amarinus. Born in the Auvergne to the lesser nobility, he studied under Genesius of Clermont. He was ordained a priest and, with the approval of Childeric II, became bishop of Clermont in 666.
Praejectus founded monasteries, hospitals, and churches. He was killed as a result of political struggles of the day. Hector, lord of Marseilles, had been accused of various crimes, and at the order of Childeric, had been arrested and executed. Agritius, the man who killed Praejectus, believed that the bishop had been responsible for Hector’s death. At Volvic, the assassin thus stabbed to death Praejectus and Amarinus, abbot of a monastery in the area.
The death of Praejectus was linked to that of Saint Leger (Leodegarius). St. Leger was an opponent of Ebroin, mayor of the palace of Neustria on two occasions; firstly from 658 to his deposition in 673 and secondly from 675 to his death in 680 or 681. In a violent and despotic career, he strove to impose the authority of Neustria, which was under his control, over Burgundy and Austrasia.
Ebroin’s supporters, which included Praejectus, St. Reol of Rheims, St. Agilbert of Paris, and St. Ouen of Rouen, held a council of bishops that sat in judgment on Leger, at Marly, near Paris. Praejectus’ murderer may have been a supporter of Leger, who was later murdered on October 2, 679.
An account of Praejectus’ life was written shortly after his death and he was immediately venerated as a martyr. The account was written perhaps by 690, as it was written during the lifetime of Bishop Avitus of Clermont.
The author may have been a nun from the monastery of Chamalières. Chamalières was a monastery founded through Praejectus’ efforts, and it was presided over by an abbess who was probably a member of Praejectus’ family. The author may also have been a monk from Volvic or Saint-Amarin.
His cultus spread to English monastic calendars. The church at Volvic, where Praejectus was killed, is dedicated to “St Priest” (Projectus). In 1278, some of his relics (a finger) were translated to the town of Saint-Prix (Val-d'Oise).
The valley of Saint-Amarin was named after Amarinus.
- Not to be confused with the Saint Proietto said to have been martyred along with Saint Evasius at Sedula (the modern Casale Monferrato where the relics of both are preserved in the cathedral); nor with the Saint Proietto venerated in the area of Cavour (the ancient Caburrum) who has been traditionally linked with the Theban Legion, but is perhaps more likely to have been an early bishop of the town. (See Damiano Pomi (2004), "San Proietto", Santi, beati e testimoni.)
- Henry Hart Milman, History of Latin Christianity (T.Y. Crowell, 1881), 398.
- Barbara H. Rosenwein, Emotional Communities in the Early Middle Ages (New York: Cornell University Press, 2006), 170.
- Bienvenue sur le site de la commune de Volvic